Keeping Your Gums Healthy
What are unhealthy gums?
- Gums that has become red instead of pink and bleed easily when brushing.
- Gum tissue that is puffy, not firm, and assumes a blob-like appearance.
- In severe cases, gum tissue that grows around the braces.
- This is called gingivitis.
Why should you care?
- Tooth movement slows down. The body concentrates on this irritation and resists the tooth movement so orthodontic treatment may take
- When gum tissue bleeds and becomes sore, it is infected.
- Puffy gums trap food particles, this may lead to tooth decay, brown or white scars on teeth called decalcification and in many cases causes bad breath.
- If puffy gums remain until the braces are removed. gum tissue may force the teeth apart creating unwanted spaces.
What causes unhealthy gum tissue?
- Failure to thoroughly clean the teeth and braces. Bacterial plaque left on teeth will eventually infect the gums causing them to get
inflamed called gingivitis.
- Eating nuts, popcorn and chewing gum. Small particles get lodged between the braces and gum tissue causing irritation and infection.
What can you do to prevent or eliminate it?
- Thoroughly brush teeth and gums with a soft bristle toothbrush after eating and before bedtime. Make sure all plaque has been removed.
- Swish with water if tooth brushing is impossible.
- Massage your gums with your toothbrush. You may also rub your gums with your fingers, even while watching television, studying, etc.
- FLOSS!! Daily
- Watch the hard to clean areas to prevent puffy gums.
- Use a WaterPik or other oral irrigation devices. This will help but will not take the place of brushing or flossing.
REMEMBER infected gum tissue tends to bleed easily. If this happens. do not stop brushing, but take extra time and care to thoroughly remove bacterial plaque in this area with a soft bristle toothbrush.